Muscle metabolism dominates the energy costs of locomotion. Although in vivo measures of muscle strain, activity and force can indicate mechanical function, similar muscle-level measures of energy use are challenging to obtain. Without this information locomotor systems are essentially a black box in terms of the distribution of metabolic energy. Although in situ measurements of muscle metabolism are not practical in multiple muscles, the rate of blood flow to skeletal muscle tissue can be used as a proxy for aerobic metabolism, allowing the cost of particular muscle functions to be estimated. Axial, undulatory swimming is one of the most common modes of vertebrate locomotion. In fish, segmented myotomal muscles are the primary power source, driving undulations of the body axis that transfer momentum to the water. Multiple fins and the associated fin muscles also contribute to thrust production, and stabilization and control of the swimming trajectory. We have used blood flow tracers in swimming rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) to estimate the regional distribution of energy use across the myotomal and fin muscle groups to reveal the functional distribution of metabolic energy use within a swimming animal for the first time. Energy use by the myotomal muscle increased with speed to meet thrust requirements, particularly in posterior myotomes where muscle power outputs are greatest. At low speeds, there was high fin muscle energy use, consistent with active stability control. As speed increased, and fins were adducted, overall fin muscle energy use declined, except in the caudal fin muscles where active fin stiffening is required to maintain power transfer to the wake. The present data were obtained under steady-state conditions which rarely apply in natural, physical environments. This approach also has potential to reveal the mechanical factors that underlie changes in locomotor cost associated with movement through unsteady flow regimes.